Morocco continues to collect international support for its Western Sahara position as the UN multiplies moves to solve the Sahara crisis.
Rabat – A Venezuelan MP on a working visit to Morocco has thrown his country’s weight behind Morocco’s Western Sahara position, praising Morocco’s Autonomy Plan for settling the territorial conflict.
Francisco Sucre, president of the Venezuelan Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, said on Wednesday in Rabat that the international community should give more credit to Morocco’s efforts in finding a definitive end to the decades-long dispute in Western Sahara.
“Morocco’s proposal, local autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty, is a welcome and wise initiative,” Sucre said, referring to Morocco’s 2007 plan to solve the Western Sahara territorial dispute.
The Autonomy Plan seeks to establish a platform of autonomous local governments under Morocco’s watch.
For Morocco, the point is to grant Sahrawi locals full autonomy while making sure that they remain connected to their “historical motherland”: Morocco.
Closeness with Juan Guaido
Sucre, who is known to support opposition leader Juan Guaido, said that Venezuela will unconditionally support Morocco’s plan once the international community intervenes to end President Maduro’s “illegitimate rule.”
Referring to Guaido’s stance on Morocco’s plan for Western Sahara, Sucre said, “This is the position that we will defend in international forums and at the UN once we are fully established in our rightful place in Venezuela, after an end is put to the grip of the current regime.”
He showed appreciation for Morocco’s support for Guaido, explaining that Venezuela’s Parliament had designated the 35-year-old as interim president on the grounds of power vacancy.
Sucre was roundly dismissive of President Nicolas Maduro’s regime. Maduro, he said, won elections that “were not transparent” and were rife with irregularities, including “mass imprisonment or exile of opposition leaders and an abstention rate that reached 82 percent.”
Morocco said it would support Guaido’s work to fulfill the “aspirations” of the Venezuelan people shortly after he announced that Maduro’s rule was illegitimate and declared himself interim president.
The international community has since been divided, with the EU-US axis calling for the end of the Maduro regime, and countries like Russia, China, and Turkey dismissing international pressure as “interference in Venezuela’s domestic affairs.”
For Sucre, ousting Maduro will “save Venezuela’s democracy and benefit the world and the region.”
Sucre’s comments come as Morocco takes part in the second Geneva roundtable along with other parties in the Western Sahara conflict.
The routable started Thursday, March 21, and is scheduled to end Friday. The UN hopes that the two-day event will pave the way for building trust and brokering the necessary compromises to settle the Western Sahara political stalemate.
In recent years, Morocco’s increasingly assertive diplomacy has succeeded in securing international support for its position in Western Sahara.
In addition to the French and the US governments, a number of African and Latin American countries have lauded the Autonomy Plan. It however remains to be seen whether Rabat’s turn toward South-South cooperation and versatile diplomacy will eventually pay off as it wishes.